The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new study that monitored Obamacare subsidy payments. The results are sobering; billions in payments were made to individual Obamacare users which may have been the result of fraud.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses information from three agencies in order to verify Obamacare eligibility; they are the IRS, DHS, and SSA. But if there are inconsistencies within the data, the system doesn’t necessarily catch them, resulting in the misallocations. From the report:
“About 431,000 applications from the 2014 enrollment period, with about $1.7 billion in associated subsidies for 2014, still had unresolved inconsistencies as of April 2015—several months after close of the coverage year.”
These findings correspond to other reports over the last couple of years which found similar problems. They were summarized by ATR, below:
- “An auditor’s report examining Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange found the exchange enrolled more than 100,000 individuals who were ineligible for the program. In all, the audit estimated an error rate of close to 50 percent, and the state overpaid up to $271 million over the five-month period that was analyzed by auditors.
- A December 2015 report by the Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS OIG) found that CMS relied entirely on data from health insurers to verify whether enrollees had paid their premiums and were eligible. However, this data was completely insufficient – insurers provided payment information on an aggregate rather than enrollee-by-enrollee basis, making verification all but impossible.
- A October 23, 2015 report by GAO found that Obamacare exchanges (both state and federal) were failing to verify key enrollment information of applicants including Social Security numbers, household income, and citizenship.
- A September 1, 2015 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that Obamacare exchanges are failing to provide adequate enrollment information to the IRS for proper payment and verification of tax credits.
- An August 2015 report by HHS OIG found that the federal exchange is failing to verify Social Security numbers, citizenship, and household income of Obamacare applicants. As a result, the exchange is unable to verify whether applicants are properly receiving tax credits.
- A July 16, 2015 audit by GAO found that 11 of 12 fake ‘test’ applicants received coverage for the entire 2014 coverage period despite many using fraudulent documents, and others providing no documentation at all. From these 11 applicants alone, Healthcare.gov paid $30,000 in tax credits.
- A June 16, 2015 report released by the HHS OIG found that $2.8 billion worth of Obamacare subsidies and payments had been made in 2014 without verification.
- A June 10, 2015 TIGTA report found the IRS failed to properly administer nearly $11 billion in Obamacare tax credits.
- A May 21, 2015 report by TIGTA found that the IRS failed to test Obamacare processing and verification IT until a week before the filing season began.”
How much more mismanagement can we take? This latest report is just one of many highlighting the string of Obamacare failures — unfortunately at the expense of the taxpayer once again.